Besides discussing the city’s 2010-2011 budget last night, Don Rinthen also told the council about the issues that made it onto his short list of big ticket items the council will have to deal with in the coming year. The issues Don listed were:
- Increasing the water department fees for reconnecting service and possibly initial deposits as well. Don said the current reconnect fee of $30 doesn’t even cover what it costs the city to reconnect a line. In the past, the city council has set water fees based on how much they think the citizens can afford, but now it needs to start setting them on how much things actually cost. Rinthen said he thinks some people are spending money on things like fancy cell phones and satellite television, while causing problems for the city by not paying their water bills.
- Blacktopping roads appropriately. Don said he didn’t want to see any roads blacktopped without being held to a high standard. The roads in Deer Run are one example of where a road appears to have been built very poorly, and re-blacktopping only delays further decay. If the city moves to repair Deer Run’s roads, it needs to do it once and do it right so it doesn’t have to be done again, Don said.
- Coming to a final decision on a sidewalk ordinance. The city council can do whatever it wants — rewrite the current ordinance, bypass it, enforce it or throw it out — but a decision needs to be made, Don said.
- Finalizing new rules for business license fees. Rewriting the business licenses ordinance has been on the council’s plate for a while, with some businesses complaining about the current system and some owners refusing to pay their license fees until the city pressed the issue. Don said the revision of the ordinance is something that needs to be finished off in the coming year.
- Annexation of a church on Industry Road next to the Garrard County School. While the school property has been annexed into the city, the church property has not. The church will be hooking on to a school sewer line when the school goes active, and the city council needs to have the church property annexed by then, Don said.
- Stop paying employees for lunch breaks. If a city employee gets into a wreck on a lunch break and they’re being paid, the city can be held liable and sued, Don said.
- Bret Baierlein also brought up the issue of the city paying 100 percent of its employees health insurance premiums. Bret said he doesn’t think that’s something the city can afford to keep doing.